Posted by: Lea | February 16, 2009

Tao Meditation-Laughter

Hilly village lanes
White washed sunlit walls
Cerulean sea
The laughter of children

Sometimes I will pick up a book and instead of opening it at the beginning, I will hold it between my hands and allow it to open wherever it may. I have found by doing this, I am often given answers to current questions, reminded of something that I should not forget or something I should meditate, ponder. Today the book I chose, opened to Laughter. When I read this verse, I saw the Sun shining on the shores of a bluish sea where children were playing and laughing with their homes in the background. It gave me a lighthearted feeling.

Laughter is important to me. I love laughing. It makes me feel good, even joyful. I also love making people laugh. Their laughter makes me feel that I touched a beautiful place inside them. Because I appear quiet, people who are just getting to know me are often surprised by my sense of humor.

Here is the author Deng Ming-Dao’s interpretation of this verse-

No matter where in the world you go, no matter how many languages are spoken and how many times cultures and governments clash, the laughter of children is universally uplifting.

The mirth of adults can be variously jealous, insecure, sadistic, cruel or absurd, but the sound of playing children evokes the ideal of a simple and pure act. There are no concepts, no ideologies, only the innocent pleasure of life.

We as adults dwell upon our grizzled complexities, our existential anxieties and our preoccupations with responsibilities. We hear the merriment of children and may sigh over our lost childhoods. Although we can no longer fit into our old clothes and become young again, we take comfort in the optimism of children. Their rejoicing can gladden us all.

We are too often in a rush for our children to grow up. It is far better for them to fully live each year of their lives. Let them learn what is appropriate to their time, let them play.

And when their childhood is spent at adolescence, help them in a gentle transition. Then their laughter will continue to resonate with cheer and hope for us all.-365 Tao

I remember as a child, my mother making statements to me such as, “Act your age.” When my older children were growing up, I quite possibly used the same phrase my mother had said to me whenever I felt they were not behaving in the manner I thought was appropriate. Another phrase that is used quite frequently is, “grow up!”  No wonder children now days have such short childhoods and are experiencing things at such young ages.

Growing up too fast strips away innocence much too quickly, causing one to become too intense and serious. The pure joyous laughter fades away until it is forgotten.

I can always tell when I am being too intense, feeling overwhelmed or taking life too serious, because I lose my sense of humor. I do not wish to forget the joy of laughter.

What came to your mind as you read the Tao quote on Laughter?


  1. What came to mind are all of those video’s floating around of those babies giggling uncontrollably and every time I see one I can’t help but laugh myself and it always lightens my mood.

  2. I’ll often do that too, open up a book randomly and ask the Universe “what do I need to know right now for my highest and best good?” I’m usually amazed by how poignant the page is I turn to.

    The image that came to mind when I read the quote on Laughter…

    Years ago, I worked at the largest holistic learning center in the world and the Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay) was holding a silent retreat on campus. On the final afternoon of the retreat, as I was standing on the front lawn of the dining hall, I heard the sound of children’s laughter peeling through the air. It was such an absolute delight to hear and also a shock, because as I said, it was a silent retreat and the campus had been sooooooo quiet all week. I looked up and just cresting the hill, there was Thay with at least a dozen kids hanging on him and the joy was just bubbling up and out of them. Such a blessing, then and now.


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